High school boys are trending conservative

cross-posted from: beehaw.org/post/6895873

While many believe young people are becoming more liberal, data shows that 12th grade boys are nearly twice as likely to identify as conservative compared to liberal. Around 25% of high school seniors identify as conservative while only 13% identify as liberal. In contrast, the share of 12th grade girls identifying as liberal has risen to 30%. Many factors may contribute to this trend, including the rhetoric of Donald Trump which appealed to disaffected young men, and the focus of progressive movements on issues of gender and racial equality which some young men perceive as a “matriarchy.” However, most high school seniors claim no political identity, and many boys in high school do not actively discuss


It’s a confusing time to be a man. Things are shifting in society. A lot of women are deciding that most men aren’t offering them anything they want or need. Unfortunately, when you’re having difficulty figuring out your place in society, and what it means to be a man, you are vulnerable to extremism. Being told your rightful place is on top, and that women, minorities, and LGBTQ are to blame is powerful messaging.


A lot of women are deciding that most men aren’t offering them anything they want or need.

I doubt that’s an accurate description of reality, but I guess that’s a good portrayal of what is perceived by these confused men.


You would think the answer would be obvious, but I guess some men just refuse to offer women what they actually want.

rab, (edited )

What do women want? Maybe men don’t have anything to offer anymore, or no longer can offer what women want

Bonehead, (edited )

What do women want? Every woman is different, so that's for you to figure out. And if you can't figure it out, it's not women who are responsible for that.


Well I am married, but I think that majority of men legitimately have nothing to offer and that’s why so many are single

I also thing that women often expect things from men that are not possible

I believe this mostly stems from the fabric of society being rotted away by social media and neither gender is happy


The problem is that churches and religious zealots have a LOT of money and are willing to spend it on things that make our world more like a Handmaid’s Tale.

I found this video to be really well put together analysis of these religiously-funded redpill outlets staffed by young religious single guys or multiply divored religious assholes who are trying to be experts on love and dsting despite being absolutely horrible people.


The key takeaway is that a lot of what appeals to these American Taliban types is the idea of being able to hold women captive and under control, because they know they are awful and that given free will no woman wants to be with a controlling asshat, so they work to enact “enforced monogamy” and to eliminate divorce.

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

Supposedly it actually is.

If you think about it it’s not that surprising. Sexism was basically a way to subsidize substandard men and guarantee them a sexual partner. If you can’t open a bank account without a man, you find a man, even if he’s an angry ball of mush.

dumples avatar

That's true. It's hard for this men to compete on the playing field of being a genuine partner.

Ironically, they prefer to compete on the Manosphere standards of money and fake status. Which is an insane choice

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

“Damn I really want to get laid. Too bad all these women are such bitches and won’t let me fuck their non existent brains out”

Gee, Foster/Tanner/Tracker/Trigger/Dakota I wonder why that is

dumples avatar

The best pickup technique is treat them like a person. It works everytime and when it doesn't you get to talk to a nice person

WiseThat, (edited )

I remember like 10 years back I was 23 and was riding the bus with young guy from one of the clubs I was in in university. He was maybe 19 or so.

We’re on the bus, and a woman boards who looks very pretty and has a satchel with a bunch of enamel pins of the pokemon gym badges on it.

I compliment her flair, and we have a pleasant conversation about pokemon until my stop. Pretty normal stuff.

I disembark with my mentee and he turns to me and goes “WHAT?! IT’S THAT EASY TO TALK TO WOMEN BY JUST ASKING ABOUT THEIR INTERESTS?”

He was just completely unaware that people respond well when you pay attention to them and treat them like people. He was convinced the only way to talk to girls was by using pickup lines.

dumples avatar

Crazy how that works.


In fact I agree many men don’t have a net positive to offer. What I disagree with is the framing that women are “deciding” that, and I wouldn’t discard the idea that the increase in women freedom is contributing factor for an uptick in extremist sexism but I also think that warrants some proper care to back it up as a claim.

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

I’m confused by what you mean. You mean this is less a revelation about men and more an increased ability to walk away? Sure. I’m damn sure our great grandmammies knew their hubbies weren’t shit.


Yes, that’s the point. I might be splitting hairs here, but I think the portrayal of these “confusing times” as a consequence of women walking away is part of the problem. Them walking away is part of the remedy for extremist sexism, not a cause for its increase in strength.

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

It can be both. Inspiring a reaction doesn’t mean the action is itself any better or worse for it.


It can, sure. But I doubt it is. Do we have evidence of it?

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

I mean, lots of it


lol k

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

This is such a foolish perspective. You’re moralizing outcomes. Women entering the workforce caused a massive inflation spike and for wages to stagnate for decades. That’s bad. Women ended up working in the office AND doing all the housework. That’s bad. Was women entering the workforce bad? Fucking of course not.

Good things ALWAYS inspire reaction. That’s why they’re called reactionaries. This is pretty basic political philosophy. Your resistance to it is nonsensical. If you don’t learn the mentality of fascists you will never beat them.


Was women entering the workforce bad?

I wouldn’t have said so, so I don’t see utility in that analogy.

f you don’t learn the mentality of fascists you will never beat them.

Hah OK, thanks for the lecture. I guess I do need to learn to say “lots” when someone asks me for concrete evidence for a claim.

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

Imagine being this much a dismissive asshole to someone you KNOW is on your side. Holier than thou morons like you are such a fucking impediment to the advancement of left wing causes.


I think it’s just a matter of wording that might be causing a misunderstanding. I don’t think he said that this is caused by women ‘deciding’ to walk away, but rather, for the first times in history, women as a whole have far more agency than they ever had in deciding to be in a relationship or not.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt because I’m not a man. I’m going to make a lot of assumptions about cis men here.

Under the patriarchal norms, many men are raised to derive their self worth based on things that are not always fully within their control such as wealth, looks, employment, etc, many of which are conflated with their ability to attract a partner. Some of these men may have also been socialized into believing that finding a sexual partner is a valid subsistute for emotional connection, because horniness and anger are the only acceptable emotions. This leads to the idea that all women exist to resolve their repressed mental health issues and sexual frustrations.

It’s a confusing time for these men because not only are many women becoming more selective towards feminist men who don’t adhere as strongly to these ideologies, but many women are also just happily single. Feminism has taught many women, but not enough men, how to live a fulfilling life beyond patriarchal norms. It hasn’t done enough to teach men how to find self worth independent of women, how to embrace and process emotions, how to address mental health issues, how to recognize male sexual assault, how to live by yourself, how to empathize with peers, etc.

Women walking away from men is a symptom of feminism teaching them how to fulfilling lives as people, and we have yet to do so as effectively with men. It’s not that feminism is teaching women to become single, but that a partner with antiquated views is no longer a prerequisite to a fulfilling life.


I think that’s an overall look we can all agree on; and if that’s the high level conceptualization that the original comment was aiming for, we’re good.

On the other hand, anyone who has a decent number of hetero women friends knows that even though the overall anxiety over being single has reduced (not zeroed, unfortunately), most are open to the idea of a relationship. And if you just go out there and ask them if they believe that such relationship could offer something of value, the answer will be: “of course”. And if you have a chat in most groups, stories of recent attempts to build a relationship abound. Women are still very open and as actively pursuant of men - in fact, more than in previous times in some ways.

Hence saying “women are deciding that most men don’t have anything of value to offer” is, in my view, an overly dramatic characterization of the feminist thought. We were speaking of extremism and you know what contributes to reactionary movements? Exaggerated characterizations of the other side. We want men to be self sufficient, not MGTOWs.

feminism teaching them how to fulfilling lives as people, and we have yet to do so as effectively with men


dumples avatar

A lot of women are deciding that most men aren’t offering them anything they want or need.

I think this is the case for some women and isn't just a perception. There are surveys that are showing that single women are the happiest and most satisfied with their life while married women are the least. The old threat that you will die single and alone isn't working anymore. The helpless men (the ones who can't cook, can't clean, can't support emotionally) used to skate by since women needed men. They don't anymore and they are scared.

It's sad because the expectations to be a "good" partner are so low for most men and most still don't meet it. Most women I know want someone with a job, whose clean and nice to them but can't find someone who fits all three.

As a demographic men need to step it up and as a society we failed them. It's so sad the number of men who can't cook a single meal or clean anything. These are important life skills that their mothers and fathers didn't prepare them for because of outdated gender roles. Mother's prepared their daughters for these changes but didn't their sons. That is the issue


This is mostly wrong. While there are many men child, many aren’t. But 1) many women are actually conservative (probably about 30%) and 2) even if they aren’t, you don’t pickup women just by being nice, it takes social skills that you probably don’t know you innately have, but many men don’t.


think this is the case for some women

Maybe? Big difference between “a lot of women” and “for some woman”. And even so, I don’t buy that line of argument.

I take issue with the wording and that’s why I doubt this is a truthful phenomenon:

A lot of women

What is a lot here? 10% of women? 1%? 80%? Does this come from a survey? This is being offered as an explanation, so I think it’s important to not handwave this kind of qualitative analysis. If you’re going to put some responsibility on women’s attitudes, I think it warrants proper research.

are deciding

Is it a decision? Do women get to decide the consequences of the behavior of men?

There are surveys that are showing that single women are the happiest and most satisfied with their life while married women are the least.

Okay. There are also surveys that say otherwise. And even if we’re to believe that single women is the happiest cohort, can you establish a real link between that and more teens getting exposed to sexist ideology?

This all feels cheap philosophy and it’s ridiculously close of shifting the blame of men’s bad upbringing towards women being less accepting of garbage relationships. Maybe teenage men getting out of high school talking shit about alpha/beta/sigma is the reason why single women is the happiest cohort, not the other way around.


Bingo! Say it louder for the fellas in the back.

I sometimes frequent forums where women air their grievances, and so many of the complaints about men particularly are just sad as hell.

One I can recall from a month or two ago was a woman ranting about how she doesn't want to be expected to give blow jobs on her knees, and doesn't want to always do 4-5 positions during intercourse with the strange men she's dating. She says "what's wrong with missionary anyway?" And "all I want is to be treated like a human being, not a throw away sex toy".

Women as a group literally could not make it any easier for men today, and still the throw away/instant gratification/porn culture of it all just persists in many young women's lives, thanks to exactly what you said... Society let men down, and has to do better to change it.

dumples avatar

It's the old sad boomer joke that the mothers least favorite child is their husband


There’s a gap in roles for boys.

Maybe it’s my filter bubble, but I don’t hear a lot of people saying “if you want to be successful, study and go into a trade/profession.” That leaves boys without a plan, which leaves them without a future.

dumples avatar

Well I think a interesting thing this article kind of hide with the title is that in men who identify as conservative are mostly holding steady over time with women shifting liberal and unaligned is growing.

So it makes sense that young women are not buying what conservatives are selling while young men still are at relative rates. This makes the relative difference greater overall but it's driven mostly by one side

Tigbitties avatar

There's all the wrong heros out there for boys. My 9yo was asking about Andrew Tate the other day.


It’s amazing that Tate, a failed athlete turned failed reality TV show participant turned literal sex-trafficker has any pull anywhere…

But the reality is that rich assholes like Peter Thiel want him and his radically regressive beliefs to be popular so they fund him and give him top spots on their platforms (e.g. Rumble, which is owned by Thiel and has him as a featured channel next to Newsmax and Alex Jones).


A lot of women are deciding that most men aren’t offering them anything they want or need.

A lot of women wish that men would offer what they want and need.

Shockingly, most women are straight. They want to have sex with men. They want companionship, love, romance etc.

The old vestiges of toxic masculinity mean that women would rather go without: that’s how bad the old ways are.

Modern men do not have these problems, it’s just relics of the past snatching youth when they all feel like everything is confusing.

Being a teenager is inherently confusing and volatile. It doesn’t take much to plant the poison.


It’s kind of both ways - there’s a lot of messaging out there about ‘low value’ women… and that’s before a lot of messages out there against single moms and aged women.


I wonder if the fact that they have the anchors set to “very conservative” and “very liberal” has an effect. If you had asked me in high school whether I was a liberal, I would have said no. Because I am/was a leftist, not a liberal.

@psvrh@lemmy.ca avatar

No small part of this is economic: income inequality has done a real number on white men (it’s done a real number on everyone, but bear with me, I have a point, here).

The economic ladder’s largely been pulled up, starting with Gen-X and accelerating through the millenials and zoomers. This has taken away a lot of status from men–especially white men–who, for a long time, have had a fair amount of privilege, and the loss of that privilege, combined with an actual loss of status and mobility, stokes the embers of fascism.

The problem is that the Right is so, so much more willing and able to speak to these feelings of frustration and angst. They have an entire playbook centred around validating and nuturing angst and inadequacy and impotent rage; they don’t explain it, they don’t try to ameliorate it, but holy shit do are they good at validating it: “Yes, you are being disadvantaged”, “Yes, your rightful place is being taken from you”, “Yes, it’s shitty that you’re made to feel bad for your privilege” and finally “Yes, it’s the fault of these gays and blacks and Jews that your rightful place has been taken from you”. It’s insidious and disingenuous (especially since the shitheels that promulgate it are doing so for a fucking tax cut and some sweet deregulation) but goddamn does it work.

It’s also ironic because the Left actually has better solutions for the problem: economic opportunity, regulation, a social safety net that addresses basic needs. But the Left is utter crap at speaking to feelings, and I’m not sure if it’s because they find it distasteful, or because the actual message isn’t palatable or (and this is my theory) that since neoliberalism ate the Left, rich progressives don’t really want to talk about economic justice at all, and would rather play identity politics instead.

Frankly, it’s scary. I have a couple of pretty smart boys around this age, and I can see that they’re, frankly, receptive to the idea that progressive identity politics that aren’t helping them at all, and if they weren’t genuinely good kids, I could see some neo-Nazi messaging being appealing, but it’s really hard to explain to them why they should care about rainbow flag day when they see the social safety net fraying and their prospects for, eg, owning a home or having a decent job getting further away.

@Bleach7297@lemmy.ca avatar

Well, it’s the start of their crazy college years. In a little over a decade the smart ones will disavow all knowledge of their earlier ‘experiments’

@Bleach7297@lemmy.ca avatar

Suck it up, son-of-mine Change is blowing up your horizon

spaduf, (edited )

I would like to caution folks against concluding that these boys are simply following a longstanding trend. Looking at the numbers over time definitely shows that liberal identification among male high school seniors has reached an all time low (based on the Monitor the Future dataset) since 1976. I would also say that there does not seem to be very much conversation regarding outreach so as to reverse this decline.


High school boys especially white ones are essentially assholes. Many will grow out of this phase. Others will be assholes and idiots their entire lives. Go to a high school reunion for examples.

yip-bonk avatar

This just in, white boys are largely morons. Film at 11.


thehill, right wing rag wishful thinking


I consider The Hill to be centrist and I’ve seen many conservatives call it a left wing rag. The good news here is that high school boys are probably more unlikely to vote than HS girls.

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

The hill is right wing. It’s not far right wing so the fascists hate it but it’s been an establishment right wing rag for its entire existence. Establishment right wing just seems centrist since it’s the tent pole of American politics.


The Allsides media bias chart has it at centrist, and the 2018 version of the Ad Fontes media had it leaning slightly right. Their site is down looks like though so can’t see an updated one. I agree that the fascists would call it a left wing rag though, and that left/right is relative to American politics. Anything to the left of crazy is suddenly leftists or RINOs in 2023.

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

Cool. It’s a right wing rag. I’ve read it for years. I’m not interested in whatever the random media watchdog of the week has to say.


I’ve read it for years as well and “right wing rag” is grossly overstating its bias. Drudge is a right wing rag, the Blaze is a right wing rag, Infowars is a right wing rag, Reason.com etc… I chose a neutral source so it didn’t turn into a back and forth of opinions. Your expertise in the matter is not greater than mine, and the HIll is a centrist site in America no matter what names you want to call it. Oh, and the newer version of the Ad Fontes chart has it right in the middle as well. In other words, my opinion is supported by more than just my opinion, and yours is not. Take care.


I’ve seen conservatives call Fox News liberal. It don’t mean shit, guy.

@aleph@lemm.ee avatar

Both mediabiasfactcheck and allsides.com show The Hill as Centrist rather than right-wing


spaduf, (edited )

Worth noting also that The Hill has a ranking of Mostly Factual from mediabiasfactcheck. In this case they are summarizing data from this study monitoringthefuture.org. Considerations about the truthfulness of the information presented should take into account the accuracy of both sources.

@Oldmandan@lemmy.ca avatar

Eh… it tracks well enough I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand. Right wing talking heads push so hard at young men, it’s fucking exhausting. And the slightest attempt to engage with or learn about current events and politics tends to lead to social media algorithms jamming alt-right nonsense down your throat, because that reactionary, provocative/offensive content generates more engagement. And so much of it is trying to frame the normal struggles of growing up (sex and sexuality, responsibility and expectation, growing independence (fiscal and otherwise) etc, etc) as things being inflicted on them by others, things thay can be simply solved by stripping power from these groups. (Immigrants, women, people of colour, LGBTQIA+, etc.)

@queermunist@lemmy.ml avatar

It’s not just boys, it’s white boys. That’s an important distinction.


Good thing white folks dont hold a majority in this country.



*Black Americans

Conservative rates among Asians, Latinos and middle easterners is rising globally, as are rates for black boys in Africa.

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